Stop Hunger & Sodexo India enable food hygiene and quality nutrition in mid-day meals in Dhenkanal, Orissa
July 10, 2018
Stop Hunger, Sodexo India and WFP have united to promote food hygiene and quality nutrition among schools in Dhenkanal District of Odisha. In a significant development on the project today, two model kitchens were inaugurated in Odapada and Kamakhyanagar blocks. The balance six will be completed by September 2018
Stop Hunger a non profit global organization fighting hunger, Sodexo India and the World Food Programme (WFP), today inaugurated two model kitchens in Odapada and Kamakhyanagar blocks of the Dhenkanal District in Odisha. Present for the inaugural ceremony were District administrative officers, Head masters & teachers, students, local community representatives and key staff members of the partner organizations. The initiative is part of the pilot project where WFP along with Stop Hunger, Sodexo India and other donor organizations have united to address the multi-micronutrient deficiency as well as food safety and hygiene standards of Mid-Day Meals served in government schools in the Dhenkanal district of Odisha.
“Addressing hunger, and the critical issues that contribute towards it, including lack of adequate focus on food safety and hygiene require due attention and effort. Technical expertise on food safety and hygiene from Sodexo India and support from Stop Hunger have enabled WFP establish a successful model, in collaboration with the Government of Odisha, across the schools of Dhenkanal. Training the kitchen cooks and helpers, consistent communication & awareness building drives and the setting up of the model kitchens in all the eight blocks of the district are a true example of ‘whole-of-society’ approach that will positively impact more than 127,000 children of the entire district.’ says Dr. Hameed Nuru, Representative and Country Director, India, World Food Programme.
Given its expertise in on-site food solutions, Sodexo India is supporting the project by offering training and technical assistance. "An innovative approach of skill-based volunteering was implemented by Sodexo India to strengthen and support effective adoption and implementation of hygiene measures in the school kitchens. Experts from the Food Platform, Design & Built and HSE teams, trained a pool of master trainers who in turn conducted cascade trainings for 3494 cooks and kitchen helpers. We also provided the toolkit materials for communications and promotions and, offered the design and development support for setting up one model kitchen in each of the eight blocks of the District, for potential scale-up across Odisha state.
Commenting on the project and the role played by Sodexo India, Rishi Gour, Country President, Sodexo India stated, “Fighting Hunger is one of the key focus areas for Sodexo as part of its Better Tomorrow 2025 Plan, and thanks to the support of Stop Hunger. As an organization, we are commited to extend our skills and offer service expertise to people and communities who need it the most”. “Improved Health & Education for all school children is one of the key priorities for the Government. Being associated with this project enables us do what we are good at – serving quality food with the best-in-class health and hygiene standards. With our project partner WFP, we are playing a meaningful role in improving the quality of life of the students, their families and the community as a whole. It is extremely fulfilling”, concluded Rishi Gour.
Touching lives, creating an impact…
Balmiki Sahoo is a student at Gangijodi Upper Primary School, Dhenkanal, Odisha. He studies in class VII, and tells us that he wants to join the Indian army as a soldier and fight for our country. A farmer’s son, Balmiki often isn’t able to get three complete meals at home and looks forward to his mid-day meal at school. He says, “It is important to stay fit and strong, and we are told that the nutritious rice we have in school will help us remain healthy”.
Coming from an extremely humble background, Balmiki’s favorite meal is roti (Indian bread) with fried potato. He has two siblings, and lives in a thatched house with his parents and siblings.
His father, Jugal Sahoo tells us: “For breakfast we give him biscuits, and we rely on the school meal for his nutrition. We were really grateful when we heard that the rice he gets in school will be made more nutritious. We find him much more energetic, engaged and involved in all he does these days”.
Like any father would, Jugal Sahoo too has dreams for his son. “I want my son to do better than me, us”.
Click here, for the press release